Monday, December 3, 2012

Wrapping Up November

Well, that was a busy month! Shall we do a quick run-through of some highlights at least?

There's this guy.  He's a big highlight of my life.  And very busy.  He was busy this month with perfecting climbing and general destruction techniques, and cutting molars.  He turned 15 months old Saturday.
Have I mentioned he likes to tease?  Not in a hurry to talk.  He lets his eyes do that.
The first part of the month we continued plugging away at our "regular schedule."  We made progress, although with six children I still haven't learned to leave more cushion than I think I need.  Flexibility.  We need lots of flexibility.  Have I mentioned I'm not good with that?  Perhaps God thinks I need to learn it.

I'm seeing good things in our studies.  I have to remind myself of them when things don't match up with *my* vision.  And I have a lot I want to work on in my children's education.  I have a lot more that I want to do than I have energy and time to do it.  But I do believe that what I'm doing is good, and worth it. Slow and steady, right?

Here's an idea I got from Pinterest (it's somewhere on my boards, check the link on the right if you're feeling more like putting the effort into finding it than I am at the moment).  It was supposed to be for the little ones, but as you can see the older ones enjoyed the idea also.  It was also supposed to be a more complete roadway, but the tape ran out and we didn't have another roll on hand.  It must be around here somewhere... but this relatively small roadway was sufficient for lots of fun during Abraham's nap.  After he woke up and started getting into their set-ups, things were different.  But it was nice while it lasted.  :)

The girls have been knitting.  Below they are wearing finger-knit headbands.  Finger knitting is so easy that Tirzah can do it herself, but Liberty still needed help, and her sisters helped sweetly.  Tirzah went wild with this and used up a whole ball of yarn in a day making bracelets and belts, etc.

Liberty was really more excited about this than she looks here. ;)

Random happy wild kids picture.  Having a hard time knowing whether the sweet action (perpetual around here) or the fact that the kitchen counter is actually void of dirty dishes (so rare!) is my favorite part of this photo... is that bad?

I got in on the knitting action, too.  I learned to finger, spool and loom knit, plus reviewing basic needle knitting since it had been so long that we'd forgotten some things.  I did all this mainly so I could teach them.  I made a hat for Abraham to practice the loom knitting.  Don't be too impressed.  It was super easy.  And it barely fit him -- he really needs a bigger one.  I was going to start one but the looms got promptly taken over by the older children and I haven't seen them for a while.  Bethany and Peter each made hats, Zion made a scarf and is making some kind of garment now,  and Bethany is making a scarf now I think.  Mission accomplished.

 Abraham's hat in initial phase.  I have no completed pictures of any of the aforementioned projects.  Yes, I am just that much of a dork. :-P
 Granny came to visit us.  The children took her out to see the animals.  Isn't it amazing how she manages to look elegant no matter what?
 All the children with Granny, except Abraham.  He must have been napping.

 All six, with five looking at the camera and the sixth causing just minor difficulty. Not bad.
 The Six Sillies. :)

We went to the zoo one Saturday.  We'd been wanting to go for some time.  It was unseasonably warm but about to turn colder, so we thought it might be our last chance this year.  Then it proceeded to be unseasonably warm for a lot of the rest of the month, much to our delight! 

I took a bunch of photos but will just share a couple now:
Zion communicating with a bird -- she really likes birds -- and about any animal, really.
 You can see almost everyone here, but I'm behind the camera and only Abraham's feet are showing.  We were waiting for the Polar Bear Keeper chat.

The new Polar Bear exhibit at the Kansas City Zoo is pretty amazing.  This video Bethany took gives a sense of it, but you should see it for yourself.

And much of the rest of the month...
More school hours, and more work at keeping little ones occupied.
 Big hit:  pompoms, especially with a container.  And a flyswatter. 
 Be prepared for the flyswatter to be destroyed.  At least they aren't expensive.  The flyswatter itself was very popular with Abraham.  An instrument of power!  
Plums are good, and he's got something to say about it.
 Liberty got her first reward from our reward box recently.  They get to choose an item from the box when they fill a sticker chart with stickers, which are given at a parent's initiative for any good behavior we choose to reward at the moment.  She was quite pleased to get to choose her reward, and chose these cute barrettes.  The big girls fixed her hair with them. :)

 This doll baby needed her hair done too, I guess.

 On a day which clearly wasn't quite so good for hair (ha), I did manage to take this experiment picture.   The egg is supposed to float.  But my battery died on me before we could get it to, so you'll have to imagine it.  It did work eventually. 
 Another experiment.  Judging by my photos that's all we ever do in school -- experiments and play with the little kids.  Hey, that's an idea...  ;)  

This experiment to demonstrate the control and variables in experiments involved cardboard "boats" with different types of "motors."  One of the substances used as a motor caused the boat to move differently.  Care to guess what it was?

 Somebody got his third haircut.  I can't even tell whether I'm getting better or worse at this.  Somebody tell me.  Maybe.  Not sure I really want to know.  Um, Aunt Bonnie?  Where are you?
 I got all sentimental when he was playing with this old tractor.  He doesn't know that his namesake loved tractors when he was little, or that he was briefly known as "Cowboy Farmer Clint."  He also doesn't know that he was helping Dad with the tractor just before he died.  Those are stories for later.

John had another trip to Colorado this month, longer this time than just over the weekend.  Some of the children and I were at various stages of sickness when he got home.  Yes, again (ugh!), but this time it was a flu-like illness.  It didn't last too long, thankfully, and not everyone got it, but it wasn't fun, and I'd been planning to take the first part of Thanksgiving week -- a scheduled break week -- as planning/projects time.  Totally didn't happen.  We were barely well in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with family.

Thanksgiving at Mark and Cindy's:
A game of Bible Trivia.  Scrabble was also played.
We got to meet little Nate, the new cousin, for the first time.  He's adorable, of course.  Liberty is a definite admirer. His grandparents look pretty pleased there, too. :)
They have laying hens, and the girls enjoyed feeding and watching them.  Zion was especially interested in them (if you're paying close attention you might remember she was the one most into the birds at the zoo, too).

We did Thanksgiving with my side of the family on Friday:
Bethany with the apple pie she made.  She did a great job!  I did help her with the crust a bit this time, as we got a different type of flour which also happened to make the consistency different than she was used to.  It didn't feel right to her, and she was concerned it wasn't turning out.  But it was her idea, and her work largely.  She's made them entirely independently a couple times before for just us. 
Trivial Pursuit.
Liberty with "Roland Wendell Sparks," who belonged to and was named by Clint when he was small. 

The last week of the month I went ahead and used (as much as possible) the way I meant to use part of the week before -- for school planning/preps and other projects.  Although I had to adjust our schedule a bit to do that, it was worth it because I really needed that time.

What did the children do during this time?  Well, this is the essence of what I've got on my camera from last week...
Abraham is getting more daring with the climbing.  :-/
There's been a lot of this lately around here, too.  I'm not really sure why, and it sure makes a lot of noise when they slam their legs down on the floor (especially if a sibling happens to be in the way!).  But they are getting better at it. 

No, they didn't do these things all week long (though at times it seemed like it!), and yes, they did still do some schoolwork.  And don't you know that counts as PE anyway? ;)

This has been November at-a-glance.  Coming at you from December just begun.   

Check out what others are doing at the Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. Amber ~

    What a great recap for November! Love all the pics and how you captured the essence of learning at home. ;D Our youngest, 14 1/2 months also cut her molars...all 4 of them in a two week span...poor babe. Right after that, and the day before Thanksgiving, our family came down with a virus {started with the youngest, then moved through the three more of the younger children. In a larger family, illness is never a welcome sight, as "epidemics" can break out. Praise the Lord, only 4 came down with it, but all of us were affected by the four littles being down and needed extra love, compassion and care. LOTS of laundry, too. ;D Although, the upside of illness is how the house always gets a thorough disinfecting {multiple times}.

    Blessings to you as you enter December ~

    Jarnette @ Seasons of Life

  2. Fun post--busy month!
    Love little Abraham's daring, love Peter and Bethany's handstands, love the productivity with knitting and pies.
    I enjoyed the peek at your dad's famed library and think that looks like quite the intimidating group of people with whom to play Trivial Pursuit!

    Does Zion need a bird? Perhaps a cockatiel complete with cage, food, etc. for the bargain price of free? I think Destry is just past that stage and his bird is more work than fun to him these days.

    Hope your life settles down soon and you feel like a road trip north. . . :)